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HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

25 March 2014

Iron manager Russ Wilcox believes his team is ready to face Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road on Tuesday night as they look to continue with their promotion push.

United’s 1-0 win over Burton Albion at Glanford Park on Saturday moved the Iron seven points clear of fourth-placed Fleetwood Town, with just eight games of the regular season now remaining for most sides in League Two.

Saturday’s victory edged United one step closer to securing a return to League One at the first time of asking following relegation last season, and they travel to Gloucestershire on Tuesday knowing how significant a second win in four days could be to meeting their season aims.

The meeting with the Robins marks United’s final schedules midweek game of the campaign, and Wilcox told The Iron Player: “Preparations are going well.

“We had a very light session this morning [Monday], and will travel to Cheltenham at 8am on Tuesday morning. We’re very pleased at that approach, which the chairman has allowed us to do.

“Hopefully we’ll be down at the hotel to have lunch at 12, and rest in the afternoon. Then we’ll do our pre-match before playing the game where hopefully we’ll pick up another three points.”

Tuesday will also mark a big day for Wilcox personally, with the game coinciding with the United manager’s 50th birthday.

However, Hemsworth-born Wilcox is fully focussed on the job in hand, and added: “It means nothing to me really, that side of it.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the group and about the club. It would be a nice way to celebrate the big five-o, but it’s about focussing on Cheltenham.”

Following the weekend results, Cheltenham currently lie in 13th place in the division – seven points off the play-offs, but also nine clear of the dreaded relegation zone.

Some may consider that to mean the Robins have little to play for on Tuesday, but Wilcox remains adamant they will provide a stern test for his side, and said: “They will be looking at the last eight games, and trying to max out to push towards a top-half finish.

“You never know if you go on a run, and can win eight or nine, then they might have an outside chance. They’ve been inconsistent, with some good performances and good results mixed with poor performances and poor results.

“We’re probably the only team who have been consistent in the league, so we’ve got to try and maintain that now. Teams want to be the one that beats us while we’re on this run, and if I’m in the opposition’s technical area, that’s what I’m telling my team to do.”

See much more from Russ Wilcox and Marcus Williams on The Iron Player.

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